Gary West told The Associated Press by phone there is “really no need, not having an opportunity to run for the Triple Crown to run a horse back in two weeks.”
The 1 1/8-mile Preakness is May 18 at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Though shorter than the Kentucky Derby, it requires a quick turnaround that West didn’t want to place on his colt with the Triple Crown off the table.
“The horse will be better off long term with the rest,” West said. “He ran a really good and a really hard race on Saturday.
“Really, there are a lot of other Grade 1 races the rest of the year for 3-year-olds. So we’ll let him gather himself and point to one of the other races. I don’t know which one that will be, but it will definitely not be the Preakness.”
Maximum Security, the first to finish the muddy race Saturday, became the first Derby winner to be disqualified for interference. After an objection by two riders, stewards ruled the colt swerved out and impeded the path of several horses between the far and final turns. Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first.
The only other Derby disqualification was in 1968 and long after the race. First-place finisher Dancer’s Image tested positive for a prohibited medication, and Kentucky racing officials ordered the purse money to be redistributed. Forward Pass got the winner’s share. A subsequent court challenge upheld the stewards’ decision.
West has said he realizes the appeals process will take “months, if not years.” The owner adds that the earliest he could see the stewards’ video evidence would be Thursday.
Maximum Security was placed 17th of 19 horses after starting as the 9-2 second betting choice, ending his four-race winning streak.
Stewards cited the rule that calls for disqualification if a “leading horse or any other horse in a race swerves or is ridden to either side so as to interfere with, intimidate, or impede any other horse or jockey.”
Chief steward Barbara Borden said in a news conference she and two other stewards interviewed riders and studied video replays during a 22-minute review after the finish. The stewards did not take questions from reporters.